New Langley Rivermen head coach and general manager Burt Henderson is promising a fast-paced brand of hockey when the team returns to the ice.
“It’s going to be entertaining,” Henderson told the Langley Advance Times.
Henderson, whose appointment was announced on May 26, said he likes to see “lots of movement” on the ice, favouring the style of play deployed by the Colorado Avalanche.
Now preparing for the 2021-22 BCHL season, Henderson is looking forward to a lifting of COVID-19 restrictions following a year where Rivermen players were loaned to other squads to play in a limited “pod” season that wrapped up without playoffs.
It meant the league’s championship trophy, the Fred Page Cup, was not be awarded in 2021 and traditional league awards will not be handed out either.
Trappers sat out the PJHL season, too, which ended up being cancelled after a handful of games.
“I think everybody’s just getting ready to get back to normal,” Henderson commented.
He previously served with the Rivermen as their skills coach in 2017-18.
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Henderson, a Burnaby native, played 13 seasons of professional hockey that included stops in the United States, Asia and Europe before retiring in 2009.
His move to the Junior A Rivermen leaves a vacancy at the Junior B Langley Trappers, where he was head coach and president.
He will remain with the Trappers in a management and owner capacity, a team statement said.
No replacement has been announced yet.
The first player to sign with Henderson was new forward 2003-born Dylan Fader, announced by the team on Sunday, May 30.
Fader promised fans can expect “a relentless forechecking and defensive zone player who can create plays for my teammates.
From Vancouver, Fader spent the last four seasons with St. George’s School academy team.
His last season was abbreviated due to COVID-19, which resulted in Fader suiting up in just two games.
In the 2019-20 season, he appeared in 36 games for St. George’s School, scoring nine times and adding 10 assists.
Rivermen will start training camp slightly later this year, on Sept. 17, with the season expected to get underway in October, Henderson said.
Thomas Koshman, the Trappers assistant coach under Henderson, is also moving to the Rivermen as associate coach and general manager.
Burt Henderson replaces his cousin Bobby Henderson, whose departure from the Rivermen was revealed after a social media dust-up with a Toronto reporter.
Burt declined to comment on the matter.
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